NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Fourth of July festivities are expected to bring many people to lakes throughout the state this weekend.
The nice weather has raised concern for the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality as toxic blue-green algae are expected to appear.
The bacteria is most commonly found when the temperatures rise and in shallow bodies of water.
The toxins in the algae don’t just cause health issues for people, they can also sicken and even kill animals, especially dogs.
Many reports of the dangerous algae were reported last year because of the drought.
Although no signs of the algae have been reported this year, experts say they do expect to see cases.
“This year we’re concerned because of the drought last year. Fertilizer that was applied last year was immobilized and used by plants, and so that remained in the soil. And we had all of that overland flooding this spring that washed those nutrients into our water bodies,” said Miranda Meehan, Extension Livestock Environmental Stewardship Specialist for NDSU Extension.
Meehan added that it is important to know what the toxic algae looks like to be able to stay clear of it and report it to the Department of Environmental Quality.